working together.pngI wrote on April 30 about dissent among pro-lifers whether the Partial Birth Abortion Ban is a good thing.
Pro-life hardliners believe to support legislation limiting abortion is to sanction the rest. Hardliners believe the solution to abortion is for all pro-lifers to work together to pass a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution.
I heard Daniel McConchie, VP and Exec. Dir. of Americans United for Life, speak on this topic last week, and he gave me permission for me to post these points….

What does the Supreme Court’s April 18 pba decision do that is good and bad?

What did we get from the decision?

  • Restored guidelines from Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which is deferential to state legislation
  • Reinforced importance of informed consent. Kennedy wrote something unprecedented in a Supreme Court decision:

    The State has an interest in ensuring so grave a choice is well informed. It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know: that she allowed a doctor to pierce the skull and vacuum the fast-developing brain of her unborn child, a child assuming the human form.

  • Narrowed the unlimited health exception from Doe. v. Bolton, which created a wide health definition. In the pba decision, the Court stated it now has to be of a substantial nature
  • Implied the Court will not support human cloning.
    What did we not get?

  • A change of heart in Kennedy – still have 5 votes for Roe
  • An overturning of previous Supreme Court decision such as Stenberg v. Carhart
  • An opinion that undermined the central holding that abortion is right
  • An open door fur future federal legislation for the other side: Thomas stated, “I also note exercise of Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause is not before the court. The parties did not raise or brief that issue; it is outside the question presented; and the lower courts did not address it.” Thomas seemed leery of the way commerce clause was used in this and gives opening to other side. For additional insights on this point, read this April 30 LegalTimes.com article.
    What’s next in legislation?

  • Mostly state legislation will be the future
  • Will see state pba bans stronger than the federal ban
  • Increased informed consent
  • RU-486 regulation
    Key cases in pipeline

  • Planned Parenthood v. Rounds – South Dakota informed consent law requiring that women be informed that they are carrying a full, distinct human being
  • Roe v. Crawford – 8th Circuit case regarding prisoner right of abortion – not for state to pay but for state to transfer
  • Northland Family Planning Clinic v. Cox – 6th Circuit case regarding Michigan’s Legal Birth Definition Act
  • Planned Parenthood v. Strickland – 6th Circuit case regarding regulation of RU486.
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